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© photo by Joe Burns

Organizing your files and records may seem overwhelming, but it does not have to be! In this presentation about sorting through all of those files, folders, photos, documents and data that are lying around in boxes and piles, we show you how to do it in a step by step, practical way. By incorporating simple changes in how you file your research, you can re-organize your files without a major overhaul. This presentation pairs well with the Genealogical Wills presentation.

Organizing Your Genealogy Records

Census records are the seemingly go-to starting point for all genealogical questions, but are you really using this resource to the fullest? Are there hidden gems and details in the Census that can help further your research or point you towards other sources? Can in-depth analysis of the records really help that much? Find out in this presentation that incorporates all the details about Census records that benefit the search for your ancestors. From basics to advanced research methodologies, this presentation discusses the records as well as provides repository information for finding some lesser-known schedules.

Census Research

Do you simply want an overview of the different types of sources and where to find them? How do I even get started doing research? What is a census? Where do I find death records? Here are your answers. This simple, practical presentation will give a solid overview of "how to" along with a few tips and tricks to make you more successful in your endeavors.

Basics of Genealogy

You've done research and work for years.... but what will happen to it in the future? How can you ensure that your hard work is available for future researchers? How do you store your files? What about your online and electronic family trees and documents? This short presentation will show you exactly how to provide a future for your work. Tips for communicating your wishes along with sample wills are provided. This presentation pairs well with the Organizing Your Genealogy Records presentation.

Genealogical Wills

Genealogists are truth-seekers and have an inherent responsibility to preserve family history using honest methods. Inevitably, genealogy researchers will find themselves at the crossroads of "what should I do?" General principles to employ as a compass for those tough situations are outlined in this essential presentation. Multiple scenarios are explored, including the special circumstance of uncovering family secrets.   

Genealogical Ethics

Are you stuck? Need new ideas about how to research a particular genealogy problem? Mind Mapping is a great tool to utilize in finding new avenues of research. This presentation will teach you how to think of all the possibilities and ideas for solving your particular problem. Plus, it's fun! This presentation pairs well with the Using Collateral Research to Solve Genealogy Problems presentation.

Mind Mapping for Genealogy Research

A brick wall is not the end of the line for research. Let's explore ways to determine if more research can be done to solve your problem, and let's analyze the documents you have to make sure you've followed every lead to the fullest. This presentation will discuss the most common oversights in genealogy research and how to avoid being stuck behind a brick wall, giving you a yellow brick road to follow instead.

Turn Your Brick Wall into a Yellow Brick Road

Frugality and practicality are habits and lifestyle choices that can translate easily into genealogy research and education. This presentation explores methods of garnering all you can out of lesser expensive genealogy resources. Plus, we will discuss how you know it's time to invest financially into your research and how to make sure you're getting the highest quality service possible for your budget.

Cheap Genealogy: Research and Education for the Frugal at Heart

For beginning genealogists, an intimidating aspect of genealogy research is: How do I research in a courthouse? This presentation will discuss the types of records you're likely to find in a courthouse and how to utilize them. Also included are tips about scouting the courthouse before you go, meeting courthouse staff, using the records, and retrieving copies of the records.

How-to Research in a Courthouse

As genealogy researchers, want to know of others’ research: How did they figure that out? Where was that information? Because experience is often the best teacher, researchers who invest time in reviewing case studies can further develop their skills and depth of knowledge. Every case study or solved problem demonstrates unique ways of discovering resources and analyzing records. This presentation includes real-life genealogy mysteries that were solved by combining the Genealogy Proof Standard with other unique methodologies. Trials, triumphs, discoveries, and joys (and a few failures) are shared along with the practical working progress of several cases from beginning to end.

Case Studies

This short presentation is all about "fun" and surprising things we stumble upon while conducting genealogy research. Funny names, strange events, scandalous happenings.... don't we as researchers love to discover the unusual? Take a few minutes and enjoy the (mostly) lighter side of genealogy research.

Have Some Fun Along the Way

What makes a source a "good" source? How do you know it's reliable? How do you evaluate your research to know that it is solid? Are you using good research plans? Documenting your findings well? Or do you just feel lost? Overwhelmed? Don't know what to do next? Let's discuss finding information, using it as good evidence, and how to document as you go. This presentation was created from the standpoint of "I wish I knew that before I started researching!" and will have you on a good path in your genealogical journey.

How Do I Know that  My Sources are "Good" and My Research is Accurate?

What do you do with all this STUFF? Feeling overwhelmed by the piles of pictures? How will future generations even know what to do with the family heirlooms? This presentation will give you some guidance and practical ideas about how to solve those problems. Organizing and scanning photos, preserving pictures and old documents, and marking heirlooms will all be discussed and exampled.

Tagging, Organizing, and Saving Heirlooms and Photographs

When you exhaust all known records for an ancestor, it is time to look elsewhere. It seems counter-intuitive, but researching collateral ancestors is a great way to find the answers about your research questions. This presentation will tell you how to implement this research strategy to make you more successful. This presentation pairs well with the Mind Mapping for Genealogy Research presentation.

Using Collateral Relative and Cluster Research to Solve Genealogy Problems

Information and examples for the beginner Colonial-era researcher are interwoven into this story of Anne Hutchinson, who emigrated to the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1634 and was a champion of freedom far ahead of her time. Wrongly banished and excommunicated, she was a well-acknowledged leader among the founders of Rhode Island - the progressive, daring group who created the charter that served as the blueprint for our nation's Constitution. In her last days, she and most of her children were living in the Bronx when they were murdered. Only her daughter Susanna survived; she was kidnapped and eventually ransomed as part of a peace treaty. This truly amazing account of the earliest beginnings of this great nation is definitely something you do not want to miss and will provide information about colonial-era record-keeping and our nation's birth which will assist with researching those way-way-back ancestors.

Pictured below, Anne and daughter Susanna. Statue at the Massachusetts State House.

Beginner Colonial-era Research, through the Life of Anne Marbury Hutchinson


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